3 Longevity Lessons: #2
The mind and the body are definitely linked. And it makes sense that one can affect the other because positive thoughts fill the brain with positive brain chemicals that can do positive things for your body. By contrast, negative thoughts flood the brain with negative neurochemicals that can do negative things for your body.
This is likely why so much research — like this review of over 35 different studies — showed that happy individuals are known to live 18% longer on average than their more depressed peers. More specifically, additional review in Age and Aging showed that in over 4,000 60+ year old adults, the happier they were, the more likely they were to live longer. And you don’t have to be giddy all the time, or even just happy all the time. Even small efforts to be more positive and optimistic reduced risk of death.
But let’s drill down a bit more. Like, what chronic disease markers are we talking about?
Another project that included a whopping 70,000 women over eight years found that those who were more optimistic were much less likely to pass away from causes including heart attack, stroke, and cancer. More specifically, the most positive females were 38% less likely to die from heart disease and 52% less likely to die from infection in comparison to the most pessimistic women.
Less risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, or infection. If those results were found in a pill they would sell a gazillion of them. But fortunately for us, this prescription doesn’t even come with a co-pay!